HERE ARE 5 MAIN REASONS WHY I BELIEVE YOGA CAN HELP YOU GROW AS AN ATHLETE, REACH YOUR GOALS, AND CONTINUE TO EXCEL BEYOND YOUR WILDEST EXPECTATIONS.
1. YOGA improves your range of motion and general mobility:
Are your heels coming off the ground in your overhead squat? Is it impossible for you to do a handstand because your shoulders are so tight? How are your pistols? Can you get down there? Practicing basic yoga poses like downward facing dog, warrior two, and pigeon (just to name a few) help reinforce external rotation of the hip and shoulder necessary for many basic movements of CrossFit. Performing these yoga shapes consistently helps improve your overall mobility.
2. YOGA helps you focus:
Have you ever had to complete 150 wall balls? That target is your “drishti” or point of focus where your gaze rests. In classical yoga there is a strong emphasis on creating a focal point that doesn’t move so you stay consistent while you’re moving. This technique of setting a steady focus helps tremendously with Olympic lifting, double-unders, high box jumps, and toes to bar, just to name a few.
3. YOGA teaches you how to breathe more efficiently:
The pattern of breath awareness seamlessly transfers to a long burpee workout where the timing of breath and rhythm is essential to staying on point. Yoga also helps you learn how to breathe deeply into your diaphragm, which directly translates into your ability to produce more power and sustain movements for longer duration’s.
4. YOGA reinforces good positioning:
Most of the classical poses in yoga support the same concepts of creating torque, finding a braced neutral spinal position, and always working from core to extremity. The goal of the ancient yogis was to move through postures in a way that could help you sit comfortably for long periods of time in a lotus position where the spine was held neutral. This is the same spinal position used when you’re running, doing a pull up, or performing your heavy dead-lift and push press.
5. And Finally YOGA gives you some time to relax:
CrossFit is primarily about moving fast with intensity, but in order to cultivate speed you must also cultivate rest. Relaxation is important for your ability to integrate the information you receive mentally and physically during your workouts and throughout your day. Being able to relax deeply helps you come back with more power, focus, and determination, because you’ve had ample time to recover. On your next rest day, replace your giant ice cream sundae with a restorative yoga class and see how you feel. Or, just do both.